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By PETER SCHMUCK | April 3, 2005
The Angels and A's have been going after it on the West Coast for nearly 40 years, which passes for a long tradition in the AL West. Though newly renamed Los Angeles lost big-hitting Troy Glaus to free agency, the Angels still appear to be the class of the division. The Mariners, however, muscled up with the acquisition of free agents Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, and the Rangers can slug it out with anybody. This just might be a put-up-or-shut-up year for Oakland, which was the model of small-market excellence when Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito anchored one of the best pitching staffs in the game.
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By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | August 6, 2004
DETROIT - Almost 90 minutes had passed since the Texas Rangers finished dismantling the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, and the group inside Buck Showalter's office was having too much fun to leave. Showalter and his coaching staff were sitting around in their T-shirts and shorts, eating hot dogs and talking smart, as they watched their division rivals from Oakland play the New York Yankees on ESPN. As a manager, Showalter has gained a reputation for being a buttoned-down control freak, but there were few signs of it here.
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By Roch Kubatko | March 30, 2003
Anaheim Angels Manager: Mike Scioscia 2002 record: 99-63 (second, wild card) What's new: The rings on their fingers. No other Angels team has won the World Series, which brings the burden of proving they're not a fluke. The rotation must get healthy. This is pretty much the same team as last year, except outfielder Eric Owens arrived from the Florida Marlins. On the spot: Francisco Rodriguez still qualifies as a rookie despite his postseason glory. He threw 5 2/3 innings in the regular season, then won five games in the postseason.
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July 23, 2002
Who's hot Mike Williams of the Pirates has earned 30 saves in 32 opportunities. Who's not Ryan Dempster, in three starts for the Reds, is 0-3 and has given up 20 hits and 16 runs in 12 innings. Line of the day Jacque Jones, Twins LF AB R H RBI HR 6 2 5 2 1 He said it "We have much bigger problems to deal with than whether or not home runs are being achieved illegally." A Drug Enforcement Administration agent, on the likelihood of investigating baseball players for steroids and other illegal drugs On deck The Angels, fresh off their sweep of the Mariners, take on the A's, the AL West's other top contender, tonight.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | May 30, 2002
It was little more than three weeks into the 2002 season, but three teams in the American League West already had to be asking themselves the same question. Why even show up? The Seattle Mariners, coming off their amazing 116-win regular season in 2001, were 17-4 on April 23 and showing no signs of cutting the rest of the West an inch of slack. No one seriously believed they could win as many as 116 games again, but they were 21 games into the schedule and on a 131-win pace and, well, nobody thought they could do it last year either.
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By Peter Schmuck | May 19, 2002
1. Red Sox: Everything falling in place. 2. Mariners: Getting surprise challenge from Angels. 3. Yankees: Waiting for Red Sox to swoon in June. 4. Diamondbacks: Not rattled by strong Giants' start. 5. Giants: Particularly pesky at Pac Bell. 6. Angels: Recent 16-2 run best in club history. 7. Reds: Holding their own at top of NL Central. 8. Marlins: Fresh fish haven't floundered. 9. Twins: Soft road record could be trouble. 10. White Sox: Southsiders are headed north. 11. Dodgers: Waiting for an opening in wild West.
SPORTS
By JOE CHRISTENSEN | May 19, 2002
For the first five years in baseball's wild-card era, it was almost a foregone conclusion: The American League East would send two teams to the playoffs, and the league's other two divisions would send one each. That changed two years ago when the Oakland Athletics emerged as a renewed power, advancing to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons along with their AL West partners in Seattle. But the East looks like the playoff beast again this year, with the Boston Red Sox leading the division and the Yankees holding the wild-card lead after the season's first quarter.
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By Profiles by Peter Schmuck | March 31, 2002
Anaheim Angels Manager: Mike Scioscia 2001 record: 75-87 (third) What's new in 2002: The Angels committed themselves to establishing a balance between what was once a strong young offensive club and what has perennially been an average pitching staff. They brought in established pitchers Kevin Appier and Aaron Sele to solidify a starting rotation that was high on potential but low on experienced veterans. The club traded away power hitter Mo Vaughn, but offset the loss with the off-season acquisition of Brad Fullmer.
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April 1, 2001
Texas Rangers Record: 71-91, 4th place, 20 1/2 back Runs scored: 848 (9th in AL) Runs allowed: 974 (14th in AL) Manager: Johnny Oates Home: The Ballpark in Arlington That was then: A division winner in 1998 and 1999, Texas began last June tied for first place before plummeting to the basement with the AL's worst ERA (5.52) and fielding percentage (.978), nearly leading Oates to resign. This is now: Every team that won at least 85 games last year finished in the top half of its league in ERA, but the Rangers ignored their pitching trouble during the off-season to turbo-charge an already potent offense with free agents Alex Rodriguez, Andres Galarraga, Randy Velarde and Ken Caminiti.
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October 2, 2000
Quote: "A lot of us on the bench were calling the shot," said Omar Vizquel. "With one swing, he said to the fans,`I love you guys, too.' He let his bat do the talking." - Cleveland's Omar Vizquel on teammate Manny Ramirez's 452-foot home run in what could be his last at-bat as an Indian. The agent for Ramirez, who becomes a free agent in the off-season, rejected a five-year, $75 million offer from the team. It's a fact: Yesterday's crowd of 28,293 brought total attendance for Detroit's Comerica Park's first season to 2,533,752, second-best in Tigers history.
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